I chose to teach
As all children do, I enjoyed playing games, whether it was hide
and seek, playing Pac-Man on my Atari, or riding my bike.
However, I always had a passion for make believe “career games,”
such as nurse, banker, or waitress. Although my sister is not
much older than I am, she always seemed to be boss of “play”
time. No matter what, she carried the role as the industrious
“business owner” and I was the lousy “tax paying customer.” If
we played dress up, she was the mommy and I was the baby or if
we played store she was the clerk and I was the customer. One of
her favorites was playing school. From my earliest memories, my
older sister would coerce me to play school with her and of
course I was the one chosen to be the student. I swore I would
never become a teacher. Eventually, she graduated from
imaginative role- playing to slumber parties and dances. So, I
played school on my own and this time I was the teacher. I lined
up my dolls in front of my chalkboard and pretended to be their
teacher and these are some of the happiest memories. I
loved the feeling of writing on the board, giving my dolls
punish work, and holding a red pen in my hand. As I look back,
it makes me laugh how my imagination would take over me, yet it
seemed so real! Although I liked playing “teacher” as a child, I
did not always want to become a teacher. In a sense, I guess it
is ironic, because in our childhood, my sister held the title
for “teacher”, yet I was the one that followed the path to being
“A teacher affects eternity; he never can tell where his influences stops.”
Henry Brooks Adams
Meet the Teacher Corner:
Vermilion Parish High School Teacher of the Year- Erika Livers.
Erika Livers is currently a sixth grade teacher at Rene Rost Middle School. She has taught for 7 years in Vermillion Parish School system. She taught at Erath High School for 6 years which was where she was first hired upon graduating. She says she has had some of the best years of her teaching experience there. However, Erika made a transition in her life this year and moved to Rene Rost Middle School to be closer to her family as she is a resident of Kaplan. It was a challenge to go from teaching high school students to middle school students but the reward is still the same. She says, “I am there for the kids!” She is so excited to be “home” and to be able to teach the kids from her community.
Erika feels her greatest contributions to education are her desire to learn best practices in her classroom and her willingness to share those practices with colleagues. She says, “Sharing our knowledge and expertise only makes us better teachers.” She believes a good teacher, no matter how long they have been an educator, is always open to new suggestions.
Her feelings and beliefs about teaching reflect what she would expect for herself or her own children as students in a classroom. She believes all children can learn, but not necessarily in the same way or in the same time frame. Some need a different approach or more exposure to the material being taught. She believes that her achievements as a leader are directly related to the success and achievement of her students. When students experience learning as a challenge, they do their best work and inspire her to do the same.
Erika says, “I can only hope that my students leave my classroom with a greater appetite for learning. Knowing that I can make a difference in many lives validates what I do every day.”
Professional and Leadership: